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Am J Public Health. 1998 September; 88(9): 1377–1380.
PMCID: PMC1509064

Evaluating cluster alarms: a space-time scan statistic and brain cancer in Los Alamos, New Mexico.


OBJECTIVES: This article presents a space-time scan statistic, useful for evaluating space-time cluster alarms, and illustrates the method on a recent brain cancer cluster alarms in Los Alamos, NM. METHODS: The space-time scan statistic accounts for the preselection bias and multiple testing inherent in a cluster alarm. Confounders and time trends can be adjusted for. RESULTS: The observed excess of brain cancer in Los Alamos was not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: The space-time scan statistic is useful as a screening tool for evaluating which cluster alarms merit further investigation and which clusters are probably chance occurrences.

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Selected References

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